Dwayne Johnson is all about having a good laugh.
The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star took to Twitter on Wednesday to joke about being the Academy Awards’ first choice as host after his co-star, Kevin Hart, was named the Oscars’ emcee before stepping down.
“Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever,” The Rock replied to a fan who suggested the Academy should’ve first chosen him. “We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃.”
Many followers, however, were quick to point out that Hart will also star in the Jumanji sequel, which led to speculation that he was trolling his co-star. The two have a history of poking fun at one another on social media.
This week, ABC president Karey Burke confirmed that the Oscars had “wisely” decided to go hostless following the Hart controversy.
“There wasn’t messiness beyond the Kevin Hart situation. After that, it was pretty clear that we were going to stay the course. There was an idea that they were going to have the presenters just host the Oscars,” she explained during Tuesday’s Television Critics Association press tour. “We all got on board with that. The main goal, which I was told, was the Academy promised ABC last year after a very lengthy telecast to keep the show to three hours. Producers wisely decided to not to have a host and to go back to having the presenters and movies be the stars, and that be the best way to keep the show at a brisk three hours.”
Rumors that the ceremony would go without a host surfaced after Hart left the gig back in December, just days after accepting the job. The comedian resigned after a number of offensive remarks he tweeted between 2009 and 2011 — many of which include anti-gay slurs and homophobic insults — began circulating online, and he initially refused to apologize. Hart later explained that he had already addressed the situation in the past. However, he continued to receive backlash.
For more on the controversy, watch the video below.